Our Brush with Fame and the Brush Off

Have you noticed there seems to have been an explosion of reality tv programs revolving around homesteading &/or living off-grid?  I don’t know about you, but we really enjoy these shows, learning many things at the expense of the trials and tribulations of others.

…and it makes us feel less alone in our own trials and tribulations, which only seem to be mounting, but I’ll explain a bit more about that in a moment.

Last fall, we were contacted by a production company casting an upcoming reality-based tv program related to homesteading.  We were intrigued – how in the world did we get on their radar?  That encounter felt so random and they wanted so much personal information without providing us with enough of the same to make us feel comfortable, we decided to pass on the “opportunity”.

Fast forward to late February. A different production company contacted us looking to cast for another reality-based, homesteading series for TLC/Discovery.  This time the encounter felt more personal and legit, so we began the process of applying.

The Series called, “Homestead Rescue” is a home improvement show, profiling several struggling homesteaders who are put in contact with an “expert” who teaches them the skills necessary to create a self-sustaining lifestyle. It’s actually one of our favorite series as we’ve learned quite a few tips and tricks. If one could deal with all the hoops and the pure invasiveness of it all, it really sounded like a great opportunity for our family.

Being Handled

The process of applying was interesting and gave a unique view into “reality” tv.  The casting producer who initially contacted us quickly shifted us over to her assistant, a lovely young lady I began affectionately referring to as our “Handler”.  Our Handler was very engaging, excited and effusive with praise, often telling us, in her southern twang, we were “perfect” and our story was “compelling”, “just what they were looking for” –  seemingly trying to make her enthusiasm contagious. These interactions began to feel forced and slightly manufactured, making me feel rather uncomfortable…and I say this as someone who spent 20 years in Santa Barbara, where people make a living serving up “reality”.

But, I have to admit, the idea of having a homestead expert help us reach our seemingly unreachable goals was more than enough encouragement to continue jumping through their numerous hoops.

Broll & Hoops

We began the laborious task of taking what seemed like a million photographs of our homestead, along with “B-Roll” or “Broll”, which is secondary footage that would be used to highlight the problems we have with our well and our inability to drink the water due the high iron content, the beavers doing their best to destroy our pond and eating the fish in it, the barn destroyed by a fallen tree that unless we can fix, we can’t safeguard our livestock from predators, and about the many predators we’ve encountered from bears, bobcats, raccoons and possums, which may sound small and cute but they are well known for their egg sucking appetites, and various other dilemmas homesteading has presented us with.

This Raccoon was caught in our Chicken pen.

Iron staining just a few days after cleaning with “Barkeepers Friend”, which has become my bew “best friend”!
Once we began submitting Broll, they asked us to reshoot the videos, directing us to not only speak to the camera but to show more character and enthusiasm “because the audience wants to see a person they can connect with”, and asking us to pan away from our faces to the issue we were speaking about. Our Handler: “Talk to the video like it was your girlfriend and you were telling her about the orange water coming from y’alls faucet…”

Our barn after a tree came crashing down on it during a storm.

A closer view of our destroyed barn.
Hoops, I tell you… hoops!  But ones we were willing to jump through for the opportunity of a lifetime!

Manufactured Drama

We even had a skype interview with one of the supervising casting directors, who seemed to want to capitalize on certain aspects of our needs. He attempted to get us to say we were in over our heads because we were inept city folk and would perish if they didn’t come and help us. While it may be true that we are in over our heads, the majority is due to the fact we have limited finances and limits to our physical capacities because of injuries and illnesses. When we bought our homestead, we knew there would be challenges, they just stacked up differently than anticipated making it much harder than originally expected.

He seemed myopic in his attempted to try and get us to say we were “terrified” of predators and being so far from the life we had previously known. He would rephrase our statements in an attempt to get us to repeat them, “So, if the beavers eat all the fish in your pond, you won’t have any food to get through the winter, right?” Uhm… no, we already explained we hunt, have chickens, want to run a few heads of cattle.  Starve?  Probably not, but the truth doesn’t make for “compelling” television, now does it?  Ha!

Some of the damage the Beavers have done to our pond’s outlet.

One of SEVERAL Beaver holes built into the sides of our pond.
They even spoke with our neighbors by skype, trying to get a better understanding of who we were and how “desperate” our plight was.

Medical Emergency

Our Handler mentioned a few times they needed us to complete our BRoll, photos, applications, etc. “soon” as they were creating a “package” to present to folks at the Discovery Channel.  Unfortunately, before this “deadline”, I had to have an emergency appendectomy and was transferred from our tiny country hospital to a larger hospital over an hour away.  We informed our Handler that I might be down for a few days.  Less than a week later, when I contacted her to let her know we were ready to go, she informed us we had missed the “deadline”.  Rather than connect with Mr. Misty while I was recovering from surgery and rather than give us a more concrete “deadline”, they allowed us to miss this “ethereal” deadline, which was a HUGE disappointment to our family.

The fact they found us worth looking at in the first place, is kind of a kick and more exposure to reality TV than I ever expected to see in my lifetime. Mr. Misty and I have spoken at length and have agreed should the opportunity arise again, we’d be game.

And, who knows? Maybe the third time will be the charm! Marty Raney… we’ll be waiting!

Now, what are we going to do about those Beavers and that barn?  If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them.  Leave them in the comments below.


They had us take a group photo – which was long overdue. Misty Nana, Mrs. Misty, Super D.O.G. and Mr. Misty

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Content and Photos by Misty Meadows Homestead and S.Lago © All Rights Reserved 


Fitness Friday – Lies We Tell Ourselves

Editors Note:  I wrote this post several months ago, but thought it was worth recycling.  Come January 1st, we all make resolutions and are gung-ho.  If you’re like me, come January 21st, you’re losing your enthusiasm.  Maybe this post will re-ignite the fire in you… and me.  I’ve lost 15# since I originally posted this–not as much as I would have like to have lost, but it’s a loss and I’m grateful for that. Continue reading “Fitness Friday – Lies We Tell Ourselves”

Wild Wednesday


Here at Misty Meadows, Wednesday’s are all about being… Wild! Re-wilding. Wildcrafting. Exploring the wilds of our homestead.

Today we’re going to talk about Continue reading “Wild Wednesday”

Saponification Saturday

I have psoriasis.  If you, too have been afflicted with this autoimmune disorder, you know how irritating, embarrassing and even painful it can be.

The only thing, not a prescription, I have found that helps soothe my skin is, “Grandpas Wonder Pine Tar Soap”.  Oh, boy! Is it a wonder!!

Shhhh…don’t tell the FDA, they don’t appreciate people making claims such as these, but the rumor is: Pine Tar Soap not only soothes skin irritations (personal experience), it also deodorizes, which you may find helpful to use prior to hunting – it might give you that stealthy edge you’ve been needing, and it may also keep the ticks and chiggers away!

When I began researching how to make my own soap, I ran across people making their own, Pine Tar Soap. What?! Yep! It can be made at home for a fraction of the cost of Grandpa’s – talk about wonder!!

I decided to give it a whirl.

This is my first batch

Look at that rich color.  Many have commented it looks like fudge!  And, those bubbles are luscious!!  It contains olive oil, coconut, lard, pine tar, water & lye, and has rosemary, eucalyptus & tea tree essential oils for their skin soothing qualities.

I’m pretty happy with how it smells and most importantly, how well it soothes my skin!

Do you make soap?  Please post a tip in the comments below!!

It’s available for sale in our Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/500104102/old-fashion-pine-tar-soap

If you like this post, please feel free to share and please click the follow button on the side or return to Misty Meadows Homestead to follow our adventures… Oh!  Wait!  Before you go – don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!  Thanks!


Content and Photos by Misty Meadows Homestead and S.Lago © All Rights Reserved


Purchasing in Bulk with Zaycon Fresh

If you don’t Zaycon, you’re losing out on great savings…and a prepping opportunity!

We started buying chicken from Zaycon Fresh about 2 years ago.  This is our 4th time ordering from them, which should tell you something! Continue reading “Purchasing in Bulk with Zaycon Fresh”

Blowin’ in the wind

Here in the Pacific Northwest, forecasts show we have 50/50 of experiencing a storm that will rival the historic Columbus Day storm of 1963. I wasn’t around for it, but I’ve read it caused $230 million in damages, took 46 lives and injured hundreds of others.

50 plus years later, I doubt people are any better prepared for a catastrophe of this nature.

When the storm hits, will you be prepared?

Here are some tips: Continue reading “Blowin’ in the wind”

Survival Sunday – Look Who’s Coming to Dinner

When it comes to survival, you have to plan for it and understand who (and what) you are planning for.

Be it any disaster: storm, earthquake, civil unrest…SHFT, our family has preparations for X number of adults and X number of children… and you’re not Continue reading “Survival Sunday – Look Who’s Coming to Dinner”

Misty Meadows Update

Please welcome the newest members of Misty Meadows Homestead… Continue reading “Misty Meadows Update”